Skate Videos motivate and inspire us. They help drive culture and push the sport (activity?) to new levels. But to bring any 30- to 45-minute vision to life requires hours upon hours of planning, preparation, logistics, footage gathering, editing, etc.
While big skate brands have budgets to bring their films to market, it’s the local vids that are truly a labor of love. Here are some of our favorite local skate videos that you may or may not have heard of.
While some skate videos choose a variety of different musical genres and seek to impress the viewer with the most-difficult tricks captured on film, others use the opportunity to create a more experiential or art-driven endeavor. Filmed and edited by Quinn Messner, YERBA is an artsy, punk adventure dripping with originality. The skating, though off-the-wall and inventive, is technical and challenging to be sure. The film’s 2016 premiere played to a sold-out crowd Sun-Ray Cinema, alongside another notable skate film, Bok Choy, by Ryan King; a proud evening for Jacksonville Skateboarding. You can watch Greg Harbour’s mental section from the film on YouTube.
Wahzzievillians Mixtape 2015
Filmmaker Ryan King’s creativity cup overfloweth, as evidenced from the beginning with releases like enjoyably offbeat Welcome to Wahzzieville. The followup, Wahzzievillians Mixtape, captures the feel of a gas station mixtape. The video is more of a large montage rather than part-by-part skating, showcasing a chopped-and -screwed soundtrack with intervals of minimal-wave, played over obscure b-roll. King does a wonderful job of pulling you into his world. With a roster of over 25 skaters, the trick selection of this video is insanely deep. Creative cinematography and original spot selection makes this video mandatory viewing for any local skater.
Full Skrim 2014
For many, skateboarding is about creativity and fun rather than difficulty. Full Skrim abides by that philosophy. Filmed and edited by Phil Thompson, the video mixes invented maneuvers with obscure b-roll, and an eccentric soundtrack, entirely comprised of chiptune. Full Skrim broke the mold locally for fun-focused skate clips. A local cast of skaters (plus cameos from the Fancy Lad team) makes this video one of the most fun this city has ever produced. Although Full Skrim has since vanished from YouTube, VHS copies exist somewhere in the ether (HMU if you find one!).
Criteria For Failure 2013
The first full length video from filmer Matt Oistacher (who was 18 years old at the time), Criteria For Failure (or C4F) pulls no punches. It showcased a cast of skaters who were eager to make their names known. Amateurs who would eventually turn pro, including Paul Hart, Grady Smith, Jamal Campbell, and Craig Clements, skated in a way that seemed groundbreaking at the time, foreshadowing their eventual mainstream success. Oistacher, meanwhile, has gone on to produce two more full-length videos, the followup to C4F, Criteria For Failure 2 and Spongers. Both are worth a watch.
Not Even Here 2005
The early aughts were a special time for local skateboarding. Square One Skateshop was thriving. Thrasher’s wildly popular King Of The Road series, along with the Zero Skateboards team, visited Kona. And locally based skateboard company Flatline was putting the Duval scene on the map. Not Even Here starts off with a brutal slam section followed by a legendary performance by Sunshine State standout Matt Fink. Very much a time capsule, Not Even Here reminds us of a time when big stair sets and handrails were the norm. Filmed entirely on VX by Beau Crum, and set to a very eclectic soundtrack, Not Even Here is available on YouTube, and is most certainly a must watch for any local skater.
We already established that the early 2000s were pretty rad for the local skate scene. And really, it was the release of SO! in 2001–perhaps the greatest local skate video ever made–that kickstarted the decade. The brainchild of Beau Crum, SO! covers all facets of skating from a stacked list of pros and ams. Segments of Greg Lutzga, Mike Peterson, and Kyle Berard are notable highlights, as is Chett Childress’ absolute destruction of Treaty Skatepark. SO! did a brilliant job of bringing professionals to Jax while showcasing the city’s potential. Watching this VHS nearly two decades later is a full-on nostalgia fest; a proper sendoff to defunct spots like Friendship Fountain, Kill Wall, and the AB Three-Block. A skaters’ skate video, with no bias toward handrails or pools, everything skateable was skated to its fullest potential in SO! Currently available via YouTube (without sound, unfortunately), SO! is slated for a physical re-release sometime in 2020.
This feature originally appeared in Void Magazine’s February 2020 issue.